Giant panda cub born at Tokyo zoo named Xiang Xiang

Updated 2017-09-26 09:30:51 Xinhua
A panda cub named Xiang Xiang, born from mother panda Shin Shin at Tokyo's Ueno Zoological Gardens on June 12, 2017, is shown on a screen next to Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike during a news conference to announce the name at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Tokyo, Japan September 25, 2017.

A panda cub named Xiang Xiang, born from mother panda Shin Shin at Tokyo's Ueno Zoological Gardens on June 12, 2017, is shown on a screen next to Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike during a news conference to announce the name at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Tokyo, Japan September 25, 2017.

The Tokyo metropolitan government announced on Monday that a giant panda cub born in June at a zoo in central Tokyo was named Xiang Xiang.

"The name is easy to say. It's a cute name that sounds as though it has a fragrance," Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said at a press conference. The Chinese character Xiang means fragrance.

The name Xiang Xiang was picked from some 320,000 suggestions made by the public and decided after discussions at a selection committee and consultation with the Chinese side, according to officials.

The female cub, born at the Ueno Zoological Gardens on June 12, was the first giant panda cub born at the zoo since 2012.

The cub measured 65 centimeters in length and 6 kilograms in weight as of last Thursday and is currently in good health, according to zoo officials.

The birth of the giant panda cub in June has brought cheers from around Japan.

The panda cub's parents Fairy and Billy (Japanese name Shin Shin and Ri Ri) have been firm favorites at the zoo since their arrival on loan from China in February 2011.

The pair had a cub in 2012 through natural mating and not artificial insemination, marking the first born at the zoo in 24 years. But hearts were soon broken as the cub died from pneumonia just six days after it was born.

The pair were seen mating in late February and thereafter the female panda had been showing signs of pregnancy before giving birth to the cub in June.

The birth of the panda cub is expected to bring a 26.7 billion yen (238 million U.S. dollars) economic effect to the city, according to local experts. (1 Japanese yen = 0.0089 U.S. dollar)

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